Just a warning: I’m wrapping up what should be two separate blog posts into one because it is more efficient and because I don’t want people to think that I’m too obsessed with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, even though I am. So, in this post I will 1) be discussing how lovely Rhiannon Giddens voice is and 2) introduce you to my favorite songs about one of my favorite foods, cornbread. So, try to keep up. 🙂
Sitting on the front porch this evening with my mother, I decided to introduce her to some of the singers I’ve been crushing on lately. She sang a lot throughout her time in high school, college, and my whole childhood, mainly through churches and church choirs. She taught me a lot about singing and about appreciating good singing when I hear it. We mainly listened to opera with the occasional quasi-operatic musical stars, such as Sarah Brightman or that guy famous for playing Jean Valjean in Broadway Les Miserables.
So anyway, I showed her Kimbra, of whom she approved, and then I showed her Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their song “Cornbread and Butter Beans” had been stuck in my head since suppertime, so it came to mind quickly.
Carolina Chocolate Drops: Rhiannon Giddens
This lovely lady, wearing an amazing hat (love hats, more on that later) has a tremendous voice. Not only is it beautiful; it is multi-talented. It handles both Scottish reels and modern day pop well (“Hit ‘Em Up Style“), it also makes the 1936 jazz standard “Why Don’t You Do Right” sizzle like bacon in a fry pan. (Sorry, for the southern cliches, but it goes with the cornbread theme).
Some background on this song:
The song was written by Kansas Joe McCoy originally under the very different title “Weed Smoker’s Dream” and was later made a hit in the jazz and blues scene by Lil Green in 1941 (with guitar played by Big Bill Broonzy). The 1942 recreation of the song by Peggy Lee with Benny Goodman is the best-known version, well, outside of the one sung by Jessica Simpson in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Although, admittedly, Jessica, as a 2D image was not much of a singer herself; the actress Amy Irving took care of it for her).
(Note: All of these are links to YouTube videos of those versions of the songs, if you are interested. Source for info: Wikipedia, duh).
With all of that boring (or fascinating) background, let’s see how Rhiannon handles the song. She makes it sound like melted butter it’s so slick. So I hope you enjoy.
Goodness gracious, she not only has a beautiful voice; she knows how to use it and use it well. She doesn’t overdo the ornamentation too, which a lot of singers get in a bad habit of doing (I’m looking at you, Christina Aguilera).
Btw, Adam Matta’s gee-tar playing isn’t anything to complain about either. Perfect really.
Moving on . . .
Actually, just kidding, Cornbread post will be up tomorrow.